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45 of The Best Souvenirs from London

by Krista
The Best Souvenirs from London
The Best Souvenirs from London

If you’re planning a trip to London in 2019 — or maybe you’re already here in town — it’s time to start thinking about what to buy and what sorts of London souvenirs you’re going to bring home for friends and family. (And, um, maybe something for yourself too?) Steer clear of the tacky tourist shops on Oxford Street and around Piccadilly Circus. There are MUCH better and more personal and thoughtful London souvenirs to be had!!

As someone who has lived in London for over 10 years and always has to buy people little gifts, here — in my opinion — are my must-buys and some of the best souvenirs from London. (With a special note about which ones should be available in Duty Free at Heathrow if you need to leave your purchases til the last minute!)

London Underground Souvenirs

London Underground Map

Did you fall in love with the tube during your London visit? Then there’s no better London souvenir than a map of the Underground! Makes for a great conversation piece.  Buy one from Amazon here.

London Transport Museum Posters

The London Transport museum in Covent Garden has some great vintage-look London Underground posters that I love to give as gifts to any Anglophile. They make an especially good gift for yourself! Honestly, I love these posters and think that they make the perfect London souvenir. I had two hanging in my old apartment in Chicago and guests would always comment on them and say how much they liked them. There are a few on Amazon here and here. Honestly, the London Transport Museum is worth a visit for the gift shop alone — a ton of London Underground souvenirs are available.

London Underground Labyrinth Art by Mark Wallinger

If you look closely, every tube station has a maze poster that looks like this. They are by artist Mark Wallinger and were commissioned for the 150th anniversary of the tube. Every station has its own unique  maze. So a great London souvenir is to buy the poster for your favorite tube station. (Or stations.) Once you have them up on the wall, these make great conversation pieces. You can buy a book of all the posters, or you can buy individual posters. The posters  go in and out of stock so check back frequently, or check with the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden. This series of products makes for very modern London Underground souvenirs.

Accessorizing with London Souvenirs

Liberty London Scarf

Liberty London Scarf

Liberty is a department store off of Oxford Circus known for its iconic fabrics and prints. (Also, the building itself is very beautiful.) It is honestly one of my favorite places to go shopping in London. When I finally started making the millions that I deserved (hah), I took myself to Liberty and bought myself a beautiful gray silk scarf in a Liberty pattern. These make fantastic London souvenirs so if you’re in the Oxford Street area, stop by the Liberty “scarf room” on the ground floor and check out the Liberty patterns. Alternatively, buy a scarf online.  If you’re not into scarves, there are many other “must buy” items in iconic Liberty prints.

Football Scarf

I recognize that not everyone will want a Liberty scarf. Some will want an Arsenal scarf instead! So for the football fan in your life, pick up a few football scarves. You should be able to find these at many of the souvenir shops on New Oxford Street or Piccadilly Circus. If we’re definitely talking about Arsenal fans, you could also head up to Arsenal Stadium and buy a scarf there at the gift shop. Take a tour of the stadium while you are at it!

James Smith & Sons

Umbrella from James Smith & Sons

This is one of the most iconic and beautiful shops in London…all umbrellas! (And sword canes!) If you are in the vicinity of the British Museum or Tottenham Court Road tube, you should definitely drop by New Oxford Street just to see the shop! And if you’re looking for that perfect London souvenir, definitely pick up an umbrella here. There is no shortage of choices…every make and model you can ever imagine. This is a great field trip if you’d like to buy souvenirs IN London.

Anything from Smythson

Smythson is a British manufacturer of small leather goods and stationery. Basically, everything they make, I want. Nothing is cheap at Smythson, but everything is simple and beautiful. Consider a small notebook or passport cover as a gift, or go all out and buy one of their beautiful leather bags. These are the the types of London souvenirs that your recipient will have forever. If you can’t make it to the Smythsons in Central London, there is a Smythson in T2, T3 and T5 at Heathrow or buy online.

Anything Burberry

Anything Burberry or anything with the distinctive Burberry check/plaid makes for a wonderful London souvenir. Burberry usually has something at every price point…scarves, perfumes, bags, wallets, and of course, the classic trench coat. 

Alexander McQueen Scarf

To be fair, there’s a lot you could get from Alexander McQueen, but there’s one scarf in particular that you should consider as a London souvenir for yourself or for someone special in your life. It’s McQueen’s iconic skull pint and it’s available on scarves both for men and for women. In winter, you’ll find thicker scarves with this iconic print, and in summer, you’ll find much lighter skull-print scarves. If you’re lucky, Liberty will have them, but you can also drop into Alexander McQueen directly…there are locations on Saville Row and Bond Street. Buy on Amazon. Buy on Amazon. 

Links London Bus Charm

Links of London Charms

Links of London is know for their cuff links and their charm bracelets. A charm bracelet with a few London charms makes for a great London souvenir. There’s Big Ben, the London Eye, a British phone booth,  and a double-decker bus making these some of the best souvenirs in London. What I like to do is buy one charm at a time…that is, my first gift to someone might be the bracelet and one charm, and then for subsequent life events, I give additional charms. You don’t have to buy a charm bracelet — you can buy necklaces or other bracelets as well.

Pandora Charms

Pandora has a lovely selection of London souvenirs in the form of many, many charms. In the UK, you can find charms with a London theme. There’s a Union Jack, a London bus, and Big Ben along with a few other options.  I have not been able to find these charms outside the UK so definitely look for a Pandora shop while you are in London. Currently, there are Pandora shops in Covent Garden, Oxford Circus, and Marble Arch. 

aspinal london bus keyring

Aspinal of London Keychains

Aspinal of London has a number of fun London key rings…there’s a London bus, a London telephone booth, a black cab, and a red post box. These are also an excellent value at £35 each. These make super classy London souvenirs for the Anglophile (Londonophile?) in your life. There are a number of Aspinal shops in London — Regent Street, Bank, and St. Pancras to name a few. 

Anything Barbour

Hah I remember my first trip to London when I was 19 years old…all the girls I was traveling with bought Barbour jackets while we were in town. These are very classic coats that are well-respected around the world. I’ve included a men’s coat here but they have nice ladies’ coats as well. This is probably one of the most classic must buy London souvenirs…you’ll have it forever! There are a number of Barbour shops in London, including one in Covent Garden and one in Regent Street. 

Anything Cath Kidston

You may not know Cath Kidston’s name but you will probably recognize her fun pretty prints. There are a few Cath Kidston shops in London for all your London souvenir shopping — one shop in St. Pancras International and another in Covent Garden — but you can also buy her books and lots of other fun stuff on Amazon. 

London Celebrity Chef Cookbooks

While you’re in London, hopefully you’ll have a chance to visit a Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal, or Yotam Ottolenghi or restaurant. Even if you don’t do, one of their cookbooks can make an amazing momento of your trip to London. Nigella Lawsom doesn’t have a restaurant but I’ve included one of her cookbooks here too because personally, I think her stuff is amazing and generally easy to prepare. I highly recommend you drop into Books for Cooks in Notting Hill to peruse their entire selection of amazing cookbooks, but if you can’t, there’s always Amazon. 

Traditional London Experiences

The Best London Souvenirs Tours

Sometimes they say that it’s experiences, not gifts, that people remember most. With that in mind, you don’t have to buy all physical London souvenirs! You can buy purchase experiential London souvenirs in the form of London tours and attraction tickets as well. Check out a few of these amazing London experiences to create memories of your London visit that will last a lifetime. Take lots of pics and frame them as mementos too! (Or hire a professional photographer to take the photos for you!)

Union Jack Souvenirs

Union Jack Umbrella

If you plan on “doing it for the ‘gram” all over London, you might want to consider getting a Union Jack umbrella to make all your London photos pop! This makes a great London souvenir before, during, and after your trip! (This is more of a decorative umbrella than anything that will protect you from heavy rain and winds. For that, I recommend a wind-resistant Lifetek!)

Union Jack Decorative Pillow

This Union Jack decorative pillow adds a little British flair to your living room or bedroom and makes for a great London souvenir. Buy this pillow on Amazon.

Union Jack Wine Bottle Stopper

This Union Jack wine bottle stopper makes a great conversation starter and London souvenir. OK, London is not known for its wine but we are known for being fond of good plonk so I think this makes a really nice souvenir from London. Buy this wine stopper from Amazon.

Union Jack Bunting

Throwing a party to mark your return from London? Union Jack bunting is a great idea. Serve some tea and biscuits too and create new memories with your friends and family. Buy Union Jack bunting from Amazon.

Union Jack/London Dress

I LOVE this super-cute dress for young girls and think it makes a very festive London souvenir. Buy this dress from Amazon.

Christmas Ornament London Souvenirs

These beautiful London Christmas ornaments can serve as a great memory of your trip to London or a great gift for any Anglophile in your life. And you can just get it shipped to your house via Amazon instead of trying to carry it back in your suitcase! All the heavy hitters are here…The London bus, Big Ben, the London phonebox, and the London Underground. These are really beautiful and I will probably buy them all for myself for some of my own London souvenirs!!

Beauty Souvenirs from London

Jo Malone

Jo Malone Candles and Scents

Jo Malone is a British perfume and scented candle brand that also has bath products and room scents. You will find Jo Malone shops all across London, and most department stores will also carry Jo Malone products. I honestly love the candles and overall clean aesthetic of the brand. Anything from Jo Malone makes for a fantastic London souvenir and/or gift. There are Jo Malone shops in Heathrow T3 and T4 after security or buy online.

Anything Boots No 7

Boots No 7 is a drugstore brand that most British women in the know are obsessed with. Affordable products that do anything and everything you can imagine. I particularly like their makeup remover. So if you’re a woman or if you are shopping for London souvenirs for the woman in your life, stop by Boots and BUY ALL THE THINGS. Do a big drug store haul!

Penhaligons Blenheim Bouquet

Pehaligons Perfumes & Colognes

Penhaligons is a British perfume house…the founder of the brand was once barber and perfumer to Queen Victoria. Personally, I wear Blenheim Bouquet, the company’s longest surviving bespoke fragrance, which was created for the Duke of Marlborough and named for Blenheim Palace. I think this makes it one of the best souvenirs in London. There are small Penhaligon boutiques in multiple locations across town. They are worth a visit for their atmosphere alone. If you can’t swing a visit, you can also buy online.

Molton Brown Set

Molton Brown Hand Wash & Moisturizer

For many years, Molton Brown handwash and moisturizer sets have been my go-to Christmas present for relatives. I joke that this way they can think about me whenever they wash their hands. And it works! My friends and relatives always tell me how much they love Molton Brown now and how they never would have bought it for themselves. It’s not cheap but still makes a really nice London souvenir. There are Molton Brown boutiques all over London and also in T1, T3, and T5 in Heathrow. You can also buy online.

London Souvenirs for The Cocktail Aficionado

Sipsmith Gin

London Gin

There are soooo many London gins these days. Obviously, Hendrick’s and Tanqueray are the two big names, but there’s also Star of Bombay, Portobello Road, and Sipsmith to name a few. You’ll find the big names at duty free in Heathrow of course, but for the smaller more local gins, pop into an off-license or grocery store in London and see what you can find.  (Consider buying some of these bottle protectors before you travel to keep your purchases safe.) In short, local London gins make fantastic London souvenirs.

Pimms No 1 Cup

Pimm’s No 1 Cup

If you’re visiting London during the spring or summer, it’s likely that you’ll see Pimm’s on cocktail menus. A Pimm’s Cup is essentially Sprite, fruit (usually strawberries) cucumber, mint, and gin. (And Champagne!) But there’s something I have to tell you….I don’t like Pimm’s!! I mean, I like the idea of Pimm’s and drinking it on a warm summer day on a green lawn somewhere. And I like strawberries in my drinks. But I just don’t dig the taste of Pimm’s. More for you then! Don’t let me stop you. Buy some Pimm’s and whip up some summery London cocktails for your friends and family when you get home.

London Souvenirs For Kids

LEGO London Kits

I mean, I totally want one of these! LEGO and London together! The London skyline, a double decker bus, Tower Bridge, and Buckingham Palace! All available in Lego!! SO MUCH FUN!! These are great gifts to bring back from London. (The main London Lego store is convenient to Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square.) If you feel like you are a Lego expert, you can even buy an expert version of the bus!

Paddington Bear

Anything Paddington Bear

If you have small children in your life, drop by the Paddington Bear shop at Paddington Station which has stuffed toys as well as key rings, mugs, T-shirts, videos and the famous Paddington books. I believe they might also have some…marmalade! If you are traveling with small children (or even if you’re not!), you can also have your photo taken at the Paddington Bear statue at Platform 1.

Harry Potter

Anything Harry Potter

Don’t hate me, but I’ve never read the Harry Potter books!!! I know. One day, I promise. If you have kids, you should definitely consider bringing them back some Harry Potter themed gifts. If they’ve never read the books, maybe that’s your gift. If your kids are more advanced fans, head to Kings Cross to Platform 9 and 3/4 for the Harry Potter shop and pick up some merchandise there! You should also consider one of the many Harry Potter tours available from London.

Roald Dahl

Anything Roald Dahl

Maybe you don’t know Roald Dahl’s name if you’re an adult, but you’ve definitely encountered his works! He wrote James & The Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, and Fantastic Mr Fox, among others! These make great London souvenirs for kids so pick up a few of his books in Heathrow, at one of London’s lovely bookstores, or buy online.

London Souvenirs for The Pantry

Fortnum & Mason Tea

Tea from Fortum & Mason

No trip to London is complete without a visit to Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly and tea in general is one of the best souvenirs in London. There’s tons of amazing stuff you can buy at Fornum & Mason but don’t leave without some tea for your friends back  home. Double-down with the English Breakfast Tea. If you have the time and the $$$, also consider enjoying high-tea AT Fortnum & Mason. (Reservations recommended.) You’ll find a Fortnum & Mason shop in T5 at Heathrow or you can buy online.

Whittard Teas

So here’s the thing…I’ve never had Whittard Tea, but my American friends who are visiting now are totally obsessed with it and have been to the shop multiple times during their visit. They were more excited about Whittard than Fortnum & Mason, which says something! There are Whittard shops in Covent Garden, Oxford Street, and Regent Street. You can also find Whittard on Amazon.

Walkers Shortbread

Walkers Shortbread

Who doesn’t love edible London souvenirs? I love this stuff and can eat tons of it. Walkers Shortbread is just great to have around whenever you have guests over. Serve some of your tea from London with some of this shortbread and you will be considered the best of hosts. Walkers is very easy to find in Duty Free and a t pretty much any corner shop. Be careful not to eat it all before you have a chance to share it with your friends. This was my go-to corporate gift from London when I was traveling a lot. 

Cadbury Dairy Milk

Cadbury Chocolate

Brits love their Cadbury. Especially at Easter, when the entire nation becomes obsessed with Cadbury Creme Eggs. Don’t bring up the acquisition by Kraft though…no one here is happy about that. Cadbury chocolate is a great value London souvenir for everyone. Just pick up a few bars (or eggs depending on the time of year) at the airport on your way back home.

McVitie's Digestive Biscuits

McVitie’s Digestive Biscuits

I don’t know what it is about McVitie’s Digestives but I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. They have some sort of malt in them and I know I’ve always loved malted barley so maybe that’s it. But these biscuits are covered in chocolate, making them my kryptonite. You don’t find McVitie’s so much in the US so definitely stock up on them while you are in town!

Maldon Sea Salt

Maldon Sea Salt Flakes

Maldon Sea Salt Flakes is an excellent English salt and a staple on the table in many restaurants. This is not a cooking salt…it’s a finishing salt that you sprinkle in when you are all done. (There’s a difference!) This is a great London souvenir for the gourmand in your life. And it’s the type of gift that just keeps giving!! Buy enough salt and you’ll have it for quite some time. You can find Maldon Salt on Amazon.

Walkers Crisps

Strangely Flavored Crisps

Beef crisps. Chicken crisps. Prawn crisps. If you don’t want to spend too much money, just head into Sainsburys or Tesco and buy a bunch of oddly flavored Walkers crisps (potato chips) for your friends and family and then eat them all together. (Well, not like all the same flavors at the same time. I mean that you should try them all with your friends and compare notes.) Your friends will never forget these amazing London souvenirs, I promise you.

Coleman’s Mustard

There is something that’s just so…bracing…about Coleman’s Mustard. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure how British people use Coleman’s — I just put a fire-y dab on ham sandwiches myself — but I LOVE it. There are some recipes on the Coleman’s website  if you need them.  If you’re American, have a little British American party by using Coleman’s (in small amounts) on your hot dogs at your next barbecue.

HP Brown Sauce

HP Brown Sauce

Ah, mysterious brown sauce. When I first move to the UK and would order a breakfast sandwich, they would always say “Ketchup and brown sauce?” And I would say no to the brown sauce…because I was DUMB. HP Brown sauce is delicious and it’s great on bacon and breakfast sandwiches. It’s vinegar-y and darkly tomato-y and well, you need it in your life. (HP stands for Houses of Parliament by the way.)

Jaffa Cakes

Jaffa Cakes

Is it a cake? Or is it a biscuit? This is the eternal Jaffa Cakes debate — there was even a court case about it!  Personally, I am not into the orange and chocolate combination but British people love these things so you should try some and then buy some for your friends so they can try them too and debate their legal existence. You can find Jaffa Cakes pretty much everywhere.

London Souvenirs for Your Bookshelves

Samuel Pepys

The Diary of Samuel Pepys

Samuel kept a diary from 1660 until 1669 and shared his first-hand experiences with things like the Great Plague of London and the Great Fire of London. It’s one of the most comprehensive firsthand accounts of London during this time. He wrote over one million words in ten years, chronicling everything from what he ate that day to the weather to his cat. Don’t worry, you don’t have to read all one million words in his diary…buy this abridged version instead.

Jane Austen Pride & Prejudice

Anything by Jane Austen

I came to Jane Austen late in life and honestly wondered why I hadn’t read anything by her sooner. (For some reason, I never had to read any Austen in high school or college.) These are delightful novels that I honestly think men and women would enjoy equally, along with any age group that appreciates a nicely turned sentence.

Sherlock Holmes

Anything by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

SHERLOCK HOLMES makes for a fantastic London souvenir!! If you have time while you are in London, you should visit the Sherlock Holmes museum.  If you don’t have time to visit the museum, you should definitely pick up a few books as a great London souvenir for yourself or for others. Look for The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of The Baskervilles,  or A Study in Scarlet.

My London Souvenirs Summary

I hope you’ve enjoyed my list of suggested London souvenirs and now know what to buy in London! I tried to cover gifts for everyone…from food and drink to literature to the more expensive stuff. Whenever I think of something new, like I did today with Booths No 7, I add to the list. Have I left anything out? What are your favorite London souvenirs and things to buy in London?

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